The steps to follow to produce dried fruit can vary slightly depending on the type of fruit that you are dehydrating. However, there are some common steps to take regardless of the type of fruit that you are drying. Below is a list of the common fruit drying steps:
- Select firm, mature or ripe to slightly overripe fruit to dehydrate
- Wash or rinse the fruit in water (obviously excluding fruits like bananas that have outer, inedible skins)
- Remove pits or cores from the appropriate fruits
- Cut larger fruit into rings or slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Grapes, berries and cherries do not need to be cut.
- If desired, pre-treat the fruit by dipping the fruit into a solution of ascorbic acid or citrus fruit juice to add vitamin C to the dried fruit and to prevent dried fruit from browning or put the fruit into a dip of sodium sulfite for preservation and to prevent discoloration. The fruit can be dipped in the solution for up to ten minutes and should be well drained before dehydrating.
- Arrange the fruit in single layers on the drying trays, pit or core side up.
Below are some particular steps and or the estimated drying times for different types of fruit:
- Apples - Dry 6-24 hours until soft, pliable, and leathery. There should be no moist area in the fruit’s center when cut.
- Apricots – Apricots do not need to be peeled. Dry 24-36 hours until soft, pliable, and leathery. There should be no moist area in the fruit’s center when cut.
- Bananas - Dry 6-10 hours until tough and leathery.
- Berries – Berries can be stacked two deep on the drying trays. Dry 24-36 hours until the berries are hard and rattle when shaken on the drying trays.
- Cherries - Dry 24-36 hours until the cherries are tough, leathery, and slightly sticky.
- Figs – If desired, the peel can be removed. Dry 12-24 hours until the figs are leathery and pliable.
- Grapes - Dry 12-24 hours until the grapes are pliable and leathery with no moist center.
- Melons - Dry 6-10 hours until the melon is leathery and pliable.
- Nectarines - Dry 6-36 hours until the nectarines are leathery and somewhat pliable.
- Peaches - Dry 6-36 hours until the peaches are leathery and somewhat pliable.
- Pears – Pare if desired. Dry 6-10 hours for slices or 24-36 hours for halves until the pears are springy and suede-like with no pockets of moisture.
- Plums - Dry 6-10 hours for slices or 24-36 hours for halves until the plums are pliable and leathery.
Published 5/18/2009 12:00:00 AM